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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal

Volume 13, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 112-116

The published version is available at PMCID: PMC3371921 . Copyright © Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.


BACKGROUND: Most people with epilepsy lead a normal emotional and cognitive life, however neurobehavioral problems can be found in a large number of patients. This study evaluates the prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients with epilepsy and determines whether having other chronic somatic illnesses increases the prevalence.

METHODS: Adults with epilepsy were recruited in either the inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit or the Outpatient Epilepsy Clinic at Thomas Jefferson University in 2006. Patients anonymously filled out a questionnaire, included data about age, sex, education, having other chronic illnesses, and degree of seizure control. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale was used to define the presence or absence of anxiety and depression.

RESULTS: Two hundreds patients participated, with a mean age of 40.3±16 years. Nineteen (9.5%) patients had depression and 49 (24.5%) had anxiety. Age, seizure control, and having other chronic illnesses did not have a significant relationship with either depression or anxiety. Gender was significantly related to anxiety, with females displaying greater frequency of anxiety than males. Depression was inversely related to education.

CONCLUSIONS: It is probable that people with higher education use more effective ways to psychologically and physically adapt to their illness.

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